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Examining postnuptial agreements

Many of those in San Antonio that are planning to marry are often encouraged to sign prenuptial agreements to protect their assets in the event of a divorce. Yet if one has already married and wants to enter into a similar agreement with his or her spouse, is that possible? Postnuptial agreements may have once been the subject of jokes and legal fodder, but today they are becoming increasingly popular. A 2015 report shared by PRNewsire showed that 50 percent of the membership of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers noticed an increase in the number of such agreements in the last three years.

The Texas state guidelines on postnuptial agreements are outlined in Section 102, Chapter 4 of Title 1 of the Texas Family Code. There, it states that spouses may, at any time, come to an agreement between themselves to designate any marital property as the separate property of one of them. With such an agreement in place, it means that any interest, income or future earnings that arise from that particular property belongs solely to the spouse to which ownership was given.

Some may wonder why a couple would make such an agreement while still married. In many cases, the purposes of a postnuptial agreement may be practical. For example, if one spouse was previously married, designating current marital property as the separate property of his or her current spouse could keep his or her ex from coming after it.

To successfully challenge the validity of a postnuptial agreement, one would have to show that he or she did not sign the document voluntarily. Proving that the other spouse was not operating in good faith and was withholding information about his or her assets and liabilities could also void such agreement. 

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